FullSizeRender 6I grew up in Nashville Tennessee, son of a very musical father and a wonderfully artistic mother.

I’m proud to say that I started going to gigs early, the first was in 1969 the first Folklife Festival, I saw ~ Muddy Waters in Washington, I was two.

We moved to the UK when I was about 10 years old in ’76; my English father had fallen out of love with America as it changed from an age of as he saw it, of simpler innocence, to the place many of my family still call home.

Since then I have lived in Southern England, East Sussex to be exact, always obsessively listening to music.

At about 14-15 years of age I had my first taste of Jamaican music, a genre that would become an obsessive centre of my musical interests.

I have played guitar and written songs since the age of 14 (I’m now 49), at one point was a member of a very well respected Morris Dancing side, South Downs, I write, produce and engineer/mix my own music and have played in a few bands along a musical way. Just recently (after nearly 7 years away, I’ve been writing and recording some music, I’ve put the old stuff and some new up on Revberbnation here > http://www.reverbnation.com/mikemurphy4

I have in the past authored a website all about Jamaican vocalist Johnny Clarke and the acclaimed Jamaicanlabelart.com, a self explanatory place for visual indulgences! I also hosted and produced the podcast Bigmikeydread Reggae Radio for some years, with 20-30,000 listeners before I just felt I hadn’t the time to keep it fresh enough.

I have a B.A. Hons degree in Fine Art Printmaking from West Surrey College of Art and Design, and continue to be interested in Fine Art, though I don’t attempt to create anything anymore.

Occassionally I sell records on eBay, and try desperately to collect Jamaican music. I have lectured in Jamaican popular music at Chichester University, contributed to the Rare Record Guide and Roots Knotty Roots, a guide to Jamaican single releases. I’ve worked as a sound engineer and (in the days of) tape editor, have written for magazines and online publications and enjoy writing… and I guess that’s why I started this Blog. I also recently compiled a 2cd album on Fantastic Voyage record label of rare Jamaican Mento from my own collection.

I work as a on the road Building Materials salesman and I’m very happily the Dad of a 9 year old son and the boyfriend (if you can say that at 49) of Sue, who has a large collection of US 60s Garage and Psych. She’s been teaching me loads!



19 thoughts on “ABOUT MIKE MURPHY”

  1. Mr. Murphy,
    my name is Ivan Chin, do you remember me, I still have your e-mail
    I am writing to ask you if you would give me a copy of your Give her love, I would be very grateful. Mike Garnice gave me a copy that was in bad shape and I am hoping that your copy is in better shape, you could send it by MP3. Thank you very much.

    Ivan Chin

  2. Hi, I love your show. I dont listen all the time but when I do, it truly inspires. I love roots and extremely passionate about dancehall as well. This Gregory Isaac’ Podcast is amazing and the Johnny Clarke one you did along time ago is what got me into your Podcast.

    Do you have an email I can have?


    1. Hi Angelo, really glad you like the show…. you can contact me via my facebook group page if you like, of I’ll set you up as a friend on Facebook and you can message me from there. – bigmikeydread Reggae Radio (on Facebook).

  3. Hi,

    I’m a friend of Hugo Mendez (Sofrito), he indicates me your website.

    My name is fred and I allow myself to write you today because I’m now finishing the Press Release of a book project called: ‘Compacto! A graphic history of the Company Sleeve’.
    As you can imagine, It is about company sleeves.
    I have around 600 different of them, coming from all over the world (Africa, America, Europe, West Indies, South America,…)
    There are only one type of those sleeves that I do not have enough 12″ Reggae Ep and 7″.

    So I’d like to know if you could be interested in collaborating on this project.

    I sincerely would be happy and glad to have you as a collaborator.

    Please let me know your thought about it !

    Thanks in advance.

    All the best,

    Frederic Thiphagne


    Rua Avanhandava 154, Apto 45
    Bela Vista
    Sao Paulo – SP
    ph: +55.11.7074.5005

  4. Hi !
    Many thanks for your answer !
    I’m very glad that this project interest you ! And OF COURSE you’ll get a copy ! : )
    Please send me an email whenever you want and let’s start speaking about this !
    All the best,


  5. Hey, cat — just a waaay Thanks! for the turn-on to yet another Ken Booth, Lonely Teardrops, played about 9:30 p.m. on Aug 16, ’12, EST U.S., 1:something afternoon for you. Only know him from the Studio One recordings, and Message Of Old is the most riveting reggae that has ever touched my soul and graced my ears. It’s wonderful to have another to add to my brief repertoire of his work. Muchos kudos!

  6. Hi, great site, very interesting! Sorry to contact you through here but I’ve found something quite interesting. 2 x a states from Motta’s Recording Studios. It’s part 1 & 2 of “The Capella Singers” conductor Victor Lambert. I’m in the UK so I can understand by reading your site how they ended up here. What is puzzling me is why I can’t find anything on the artists. Luckily the track listing is included, which includes “This Endris Nyght” actually spelled that way! Hope you may be able to shed some light? Best, James

    1. Hi James, I’d be very interested to see scans of these. It sounds on first thought like some one offs recorded for private use at Mottas. He was known in the early days (indeed he set up for this initially) to record uptown middle class types personal recordings, music, spoken word and performance. You may have something very interesting and very rare. Please get in touch with me here or post some photos for me to look at on my Radio Station fan page at Bigmikeydread Reggae Radio on Facebook. Exciting stuff!

  7. heeeeeeyyyyy mr big mikey dread, its Abs here!!! Just listening to your sweet music down here in Kernow, hows things?? You sound happy, hope you and the family are all good. Pops is the big 10 now, aaaahhh!! Be lovely to see you all sometime, keep up the sweet rasta roots, lots of love abs xxxx

  8. Hi BMD, I bought the 2 Motta acetates off ebay last week, they landed yesterday at home.

    Would love to get your input on these :

    My 78rpm player is crap so I just listened to few seconds of each song waiting to get a proper way to record these fragile sides.

    All tunes are, obviously, a cappella gospels.

    One of the superb Motta labels is slightly unglued revealing another label from the blank acetate. I can see “this is a direct recording” “play with modern” [turnatble i guess]



    1. Sounds really interesting, would love to hear the recodings when you get them done. I suspect the ‘under label’ is the original acetate manufacturers label and Motta’s havve just pasted over. It’s interesting that the seller asked me pre sell about them, and you’ve checked in post sale.. the Mento world is a Mental one!!.. Congratulations on the purchase, very interesting items.. at least to me!

  9. Mr Murphy,
    Will you ever return to your podcasting activities? I was very saddened to find you gone, although if your final episode was in cassette format, it would have long since worn out. It’s that good
    Anyhoo, don’t mean to bother you, just wanted to reach out and let u know I’m thinking of your welfare and wish you well. I hope all is smooth and easy in your life since those halcyon “salad” days, if you know what I mean…!

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